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robllawrence

Arlen Specter switches parties

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Oh, really? So all that speculation is coming from a position of ignorance? Great.

 

Yeah. Sure. So are you pissed about the switch or what?

 

I've got some questions for you about your precious "left agenda." How much extra have you sent the Treasury to fund it? In case you don't know, you're allowed to donate money to the government. Since you think Congress is supposed to provide everyone free medical care, a chicken in every pot, and a hovercraft in every garage, I'm curious as to how much you've done to actually make that a reality.

 

I mean, what have you done besides vote for some oath-violating thugs to -- on your behalf -- forcibly take your neighbors' money and bankrupt our grandchildren?

 

There's civil dialog about the direction of our country, and then there's "We're the Deciders" authoritarianism. And that authoritarianism isn't restricted to one political party. You're engaging in a particularly despicable form of by telling us you're happy to force everyone else (including those who haven't even been born yet) to pay for your controversial endeavors. You don't even care if politicians have to become turncoats and violate the expressed will of their constituents who elected them as a member of your opposition. If you can't get 60 Democratic Senators, tempt elected Republicans into betrayal by offering them cozy chairmanships and the prospect of political self-preservation.

 

To you, the ends justify the means. Scheme, strategize and, ultimately, use force, to get your way. Because it's obviously so important to you that you're living in poverty because you've given every dime to fund the very initiatives you want shoved down the throats of all of us.

 

Yeah. This is a ridiculous non argument. The only thing I really feel a need to respond to is what exactly you bring to the civil dialogue? You sound so upset about the turn of events with virtually no acknowledgment of the way the right has acted over the past 8 years. You can be as pissed as you want, but when you get through all of your puffy rhetoric, you're just being a sore looser. I am being honest when I ask you to give me an alternative way to bring the economy out of a recession. Until you do, I'm going to ignore you.

 

There's civil dialog, and then there are people like you. And the next time you laugh at some "yahoo" who discusses the legitimacy of secession and wonder why someone would even think about such a thing, look in the mirror. Because the more I hear people like you talk -- people who obviously have no respect for the way I choose to live -- the more I'd rather side with that radical "yahoo."

 

Civil dialogue. Right. This goes back to you being pissed at the fact a) republicans lost B) republicans are in a total state of disarray and c) you now feel totally abandoned by your representative. You need to find a republican foster home with other republicans that will love you no matter what. Face it, I'm not the only one who 'obviously [has] no respect for the way [you] choose to live' because I'm not alone in a country of 46 million American's or so that voted for Obama. We don't disrespect your life, we just don't think its the right direction this country should be heading. Until you provide an alternative, I have no obligation to justify my agenda and will keep on gloating. We won. You lost. Grow up and get over it.

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To be fair, Specter lost a chairmanship over that particular switch. I'd be pretty pissed, too, if one switch completely flipped the internal workings of Congress and I lost a chairmanship. Specter's switch didn't really do that. Sure, the Democrats now have a theoretical 60-vote supermajority, but they sort of had that already because of Snowe and Specter.
He wasn't just "pissed" and venting, he pushed to restrict party-switching.

 

Now, he's showing his hypocrisy.

 

This is clearly a move motivated by political survival -- he's even admitting that. And it has power structure implications. We can speculate about how they "sort of had" the 60 votes already, or look at the other side and say that Specter isn't an automatic vote, and there's some truth to both angles. But it technically (if/when Franken is seated crosses that significant 60-vote threshold) is a major power-changing development, and it changes chairmanships, etc. (Specter will now be a committee chairman).

 

There's really no way to split the baby here and say that what Jeffords did was wrong but what Specter is doing is OK. Even if you're some political rat who cites centuries-old Scottish court cases in interpreting his Congressional duties, like Specter, you can't weasel out of this with anything less than "I like my job and want more and safer power."

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He wasn't just "pissed" and venting, he pushed to restrict party-switching.

 

Now, he's showing his hypocrisy.

It's not hypocritical for someone's views to change over an eight year period. In 2001, Specter didn't see what Jeffords saw, he didn't understand what could drive someone to desert their party even if that meant shaking things up, now he does. Attack Specter all you want on the opinion shift, but do so on the merits. Crying "hypocrisy" after an eight-year gap is a weak position.

 

"A man should never be ashamed to admit he is in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than yesterday." – Jonathan Swift

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I agree with Ian, it is a weak position, however i will be more interested in seeing if he really follows through with votes in policy making. Or if he really is just more middle of the road so to say. I think that whatever the result is, it will be diffrent then he was 8 years ago, and in no way does that make him a hypocrite.

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Yeah. Sure. So are you pissed about the switch or what?
Pissed isn't the right word, as Arlen has always been a toad, and I have no desire to see the GOP's agenda succeed. But I also have no desire to see the Democrats push through what they want. When both "sides" would destroy the country if left to their own devices, gridlock is our friend.

 

Yeah. This is a ridiculous non argument. The only thing I really feel a need to respond to is what exactly you bring to the civil dialogue?
I'm willing to have civil dialogue with people who want civil dialogue. You've shown you're not one of them. When you gloat about how treachery will enable to you "shove down [everyone's] throats" your agenda, you've shown that you have no desire to build consensus or have dialogue that goes beyond "how do I get what I want?"

 

You sound so upset about the turn of events with virtually no acknowledgment of the way the right has acted over the past 8 years.
That's asinine. I've been as critical of the GOP as I have of the Democrats. In fact, I've probably been MORE critical of the GOP given the fact that they had more power.

 

You can be as pissed as you want, but when you get through all of your puffy rhetoric, you're just being a sore looser.
If I was looser, maybe I wouldn't be so sore.

 

I am being honest when I ask you to give me an alternative way to bring the economy out of a recession.
Haha. This is the first I've seen you "ask" anyone for alternatives. Your only significant contribution early in the thread was to gloat about how you were "so sick of the last 8 years" that you were going to enjoy watching the "left agenda" get rammed down our throats.

 

So, before you successfully cloak yourself in "you have no solutions to the economic crisis but I want to hear them so we can have dialogue," let's look at the facts. The "economic crisis," while it has root causes that go back decades, didn't emerge 4 years ago, much less 6 or 8 years ago. But you're sick of the whole 8 years.

 

And, for that matter, the "left agenda" is something that goes far beyond resolving the immediate economic turmoil. There was a "left agenda" before the subprime crisis, the credit crunch, the housing slump, and the problems with the auto makers. Concepts like socialized medicine, higher taxes and spending, pandering to unions, etc., were central to the left agenda before the crisis and will continue to be central to that agenda when things improve.

 

Your initial post certainly wasn't about "ramming down economic solutions because the previous administration didn't fix them and no one in the current opposition has offered an alternative (even though I want to hear them)." That'd be bullshit on so many levels. It was "I hated the last 8 years, and now I'm gonna get everything I want, so you can all go to hell."

 

Until you do, I'm going to ignore you.
I wish. Unfortunately your "left agenda" won't ignore people. It won't let them be.

 

Civil dialogue. Right. This goes back to you being pissed at the fact a) republicans lost B) republicans are in a total state of disarray and c) you now feel totally abandoned by your representative.
What is it they say about assumptions?

 

I'm not pissed that Republicans lost. I'm not a Republican. Their disarray is actually an opportunity, in my view. And it's hard to now feel "abandoned" by my Senator when he never represented my views to begin with (and I never voted for him).

 

You need to find a republican foster home with other republicans that will love you no matter what.
Funny, if misguided.

 

Face it, I'm not the only one who 'obviously [has] no respect for the way [you] choose to live' because I'm not alone in a country of 46 million American's or so that voted for Obama. We don't disrespect your life, we just don't think its the right direction this country should be heading.
Those 46 million people have always been free to become more "charitable." A smaller government approach doesn't preclude, prevent or prohibit compassion or charity.

 

I asked above if you have given a single PENNY above what you've had to pay in taxes, and you ignored that question. I think it's safe to say you haven't.

 

On the other hand, your "we won, so we're going to spend, spend, spend" approach forces those who disagree with you to come along for the ride. Who cares if they don't want to, think it's fiscally unwise, or if the concepts are unconstitutional. You're confident it's "the right direction," and if we don't do as you say you'll lock us up.

 

Until you provide an alternative,
As I noted above, your sudden (and no doubt genuine) interest in consensus-building is truly moving.

 

And by the way, the absence of some specific detailed proposal (which would be moot from a powerless opposition) doesn't constitute a total lack of an "alternative." "Your plan is net disadvantageous" is substantive. Even in the absence of a specific counterproposal, "do nothing" is an alternative, for that matter.

 

I have no obligation to justify my agenda and will keep on gloating. We won. You lost. Grow up and get over it.
We all lost. And now you want us all to pay for priorities that you aren't willing to voluntarily fork over one dime for, because "you won."

 

But go ahead and gloat. And if elements of the opposition ever get so disenchanted (say, by those supporting the current regime telling them to "get over it") that they decide to resist paying for your priorities, you can not only pick up the slack but pay to imprison them as well.

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We all lost. And now you want us all to pay for priorities that you aren't willing to voluntarily fork over one dime for, because "you won."

I'm not sure what you mean by "voluntary," but I would be willing to pay higher taxes if it meant I could get rid of the hassles of private health insurance. Or get a decent high-speed rail network. Or improve public education.

 

There are somethings the free market handles well; health care, transit, and public education have not been among them...

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Since "we won, let's jam our agenda down the country's throat" has morphed into "let's chat about alternatives," here's the short version.

 

1. No TARP.

 

2. No bailouts.

 

3. Allow bankruptcy courts to do their jobs. At most, initiate temporary "controlled bankruptcy" proposals (e.g. federal government guarantees the warranties on domestic autos).

 

4. Temporarily tweak existing programs -- while implementing sunset provisions -- to get us through the rough patches (e.g. extend unemployment benefits).

 

5. Temporarily reallocate federal spending (and if absolutely necessary, appropriate a fiscally responsible amount of new spending) toward jobs-based "stimulus" (shovel-ready infrastructure projects, fast-tracking proposals already in the pipeline, etc.)

 

(The above three are lot easier to swallow if government is responsible in a broader sense [e.g. if, during times of economic prosperity, we aren't running huge deficits] as it gives us the flexibility to respond to a crisis without deficit-spending an amount ten times greater than our nation's total accumulated debt over its first 200 years.)

 

6. Allow irresponsible businesses, business models, and individuals to "fail." That's what bankruptcy is for, and loss is the downside of risk. The short-term result is some pain (that's what existing social safety nets are designed to deal with), and the long term results are lessons learned and wiser allocation of capital.

 

7. Show honest, but frank leadership. This means Obama, Congressional leaders, and administration officials have to be visible in 21st century "fireside-type" chats with the American people. "Things are going to be tough in the coming months, but we'll get through this," "We're all going to suffer a little bit, and some will suffer more than others, but no one is going to go hungry in the United States of America and we will recover. But in a free society it's not the government's job to bail people out when they make mistakes," etc.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "voluntary," but I would be willing to pay higher taxes if it meant I could get rid of the hassles of private health insurance. Or get a decent high-speed rail network. Or improve public education.
By voluntary I mean sending in a check you're not coerced into sending by the force of law (taxes).

 

If you value high speed rail, send in a check earmarked for that purpose. No one's stopping you. Set up a non-profit. Organize like-minded people to help raise money. There are other ways beyond manipulating the political system to get others to pay for your priorities.

 

I'd have a lot more respect for big-government proposals if their supporters put their money where their mouths are. The activism, campaign contributions, and effort that are spent on advocacy are usually unaccompanied by true voluntary sacrifice. I guess there's a cynical, cut-throat calculation made: my $500 check and 10 hours working a phone bank to get Rep. Baconbringer re-elected will yield more toward getting new fire trucks for the city than donating that time and money to a fund directly designed for that purpose.

 

Our founding fathers were prescient in warning about the risks of factions. Once you establish that a government entity has jurisdiction over something, the battle to seize control cannot be stopped. We're then stuck with a hodgepodge of competing, narrow special interests trying to form governing coalitions to get their way.

 

And those who object to that larger structure are often labeled "greedy," or lacking in compassion. It's not as if I want anarchy or "A Modest Proposal," nor does it mean I oppose good schools, transportation, and medical care. But my disdain for government coercion is often equaled by "progressives'" disdain for free market solutions, and the resulting dynamic doesn't often leave much room for middle ground -- at least once the rhetoric starts flying.

 

There are somethings the free market handles well; health care, transit, and public education have not been among them...
That remains to be seen. There is room for dialogue and better understanding, as most libertarians aren't total anarchists (they recognize that government plays a legitimate role) and most progressives aren't totalitarian statists (they recognize that the free market plays a legitimate role).

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "voluntary," but I would be willing to pay higher taxes if it meant I could get rid of the hassles of private health insurance. Or get a decent high-speed rail network. Or improve public education.

Here's an analogy for you to consider. You're (apparently) willing to "pay higher taxes" if you get something out of it, but only if others pay higher taxes as well. I'm not saying that's unreasonable.

 

The bigger issue is this: at what point should a segment of the population's "willingness" along those lines become binding on the whole? A simple majority? Control of government? "Consensus?" Are/should/can there be Constitutional limitations on this power? What if the "willingness" is limited to those who are not to be compelled to "sacrifice," or sacrifice much (e.g. the poorest 75% gaining control of government and demanding sacrifice from the wealthiest 25%)?

 

Ultimately, ceding sovereignty -- be it personal sovereignty, state sovereignty, etc. -- must be voluntary. There can be disagreement on what is sufficient in this regard, but some level of self-determination is a human right. If Mary does not wish to marry Lester, she cannot be forced to. If South Carolina had voted to reject the Constitution and not join the union, should they have been integrated into it forcefully by virtue of the other 12 states ratifying? These may be among the less controversial questions of such hypotheticals, but you can take it all the way to the other extreme of a disenchanted 1% of the population.

 

It's ironic. As I write this, some Star Trek episode is on dealing with the Borg and some drone debating whether or not to join the collective. I've never been big into Star Trek, but the similarity to this sort of discussion isn't lost on me. Using the forced of sheer might to comply people to act collectively (against their will) is a tricky business, as it undermines individualism.

 

We can debate where to draw the line. That's healthy. But when those in control take the debate to "we're going to ram through our agenda and force compliance," that's the equivalent of going nuclear.

Edited by neural link

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Regarding the fireside chats "things are going to be tough", he has done some of that. But when he does, people on the other side say "every time he opens his mouth the stock market drops."

 

On everything else, I actually pretty much agree with Mike although what we find as acceptable levels of new spending might differ some. I'd say no TARP, bailouts in the form of low interest or even short term interest free loans, spending on as Mike calls them "shovel ready" projects and a few other things though not as big as current amounts, more for unemployment but also significant increases in education (people who are unemployed should have a strong incentive to go get a degree) and paying down student loans (people who recently got a degree can't buy a car or house or start a business with debt eating their lunch.)

 

But then, I'm not in the room, and I'm not seeing the numbers or hearing lobbyists' arguments. Considering those things, I think Obama is doing a decent job of handling it.

 

I don't think there is much more to Specter's switch than just political reality. He knows the only chance of keeping his job is to switch. I do suspect the Republicans made it easy for him though. After his votes this year, I'm sure they have all but lit his office on fire.

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And, for that matter, the "left agenda" is something that goes far beyond resolving the immediate economic turmoil. There was a "left agenda" before the subprime crisis, the credit crunch, the housing slump, and the problems with the auto makers. Concepts like socialized medicine, higher taxes and spending, pandering to unions, etc., were central to the left agenda before the crisis and will continue to be central to that agenda when things improve.

 

thats because The Left thinks that socialized medicines, public spending, regulation, and a strong work force are key to preventing economic collapse.

 

 

OH crap, just missed. more of that libertarian pipe dream crap from mike.

 

You want national high speed rail? start a nonprofit.

 

such idealistic bullshit.

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Franken won

 

not yet it is being take to courts currently and a decision is postponed till like June or July i cant remember

 

Sorta. The decision in the first court case didn't do anything really except open 200-ish ballots meaning that Coleman vamped it to the Minnesota Supreme Court. They are both trying to fast track it but because of this switch I am sure more time will be spent. The courts SHOULD start hearing arguments sometime in may (if i recall).

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thats because The Left thinks that socialized medicines, public spending, regulation, and a strong work force are key to preventing economic collapse.
::Yawn::

 

The knee bone is connected to the neck bone, eventually. Every major legislation has economic implications, but that doesn't mean they're conceived in the throes of economic turmoil or tailored to bring that turmoil to an end.

 

Card check wasn't proposed because The Left woke up and thought "Oh crap! The economy's in trouble. We need to eliminate guaranteed secret ballots for unionization. Now, to the time machine! Go back to 2005 and introduce the creatively-named Employee 'Free Choice' Act." Socialized medicine, environmental regulation, etc...

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::Yawn::

 

The knee bone is connected to the neck bone, eventually. Every major legislation has economic implications, but that doesn't mean they're conceived in the throes of economic turmoil or tailored to bring that turmoil to an end.

 

Card check wasn't proposed because The Left woke up and thought "Oh crap! The economy's in trouble. We need to eliminate guaranteed secret ballots for unionization. Now, to the time machine! Go back to 2005 and introduce the creatively-named Employee 'Free Choice' Act." Socialized medicine, environmental regulation, etc...

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=6&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.calnurses.org%2Fresearch%2Fpdfs%2Fihsp_sp_economic_study_2009.pdf&ei=EMz4SZbfO9KXlAfHwNS0Cg&usg=AFQjCNFEQ_8lIEoN2hNDEkv9jDv8jLv31g

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Your point?

 

I could put out a paper on decriminalizing marijuana and call it an "Economic Stimulus" proposal. (EDIT: Oh, really? What a shocker.)

 

But everyone I've ever met would know it reflected a previously-held belief, just as socialized medicine has been a goal of "The Left" for decades.

Edited by WCUDebate

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But everyone I've ever met would know it reflected a previously-held belief, just as socialized medicine has been a goal of "The Left" for decades.

Yes, a better health care system has been on the agenda for a while and many moderates and liberals believe that more government involvement ("socialism" if that's the moniker you wish to apply) will be beneficial (as evidenced by the health care systems of every other major industrialized nation). Your point?

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Your point?

You're a law student. They teach future lawyers how to "scroll up," don't they?

 

This thread isn't a debate on the merits of socialized medicine (I'm not using that as a smear, by the way, just as a term of convenienec) and never was. This stems from the backpedaling of hiphop and his revisionist interpretation of his statement as something like "the part of the Left Agenda that dealt with emergency stimulus."

 

If you want to debate socialized medicine, I'll have a go sometime, both from a deontological and consequentalist perspective. But there's no need to take a cheap shot at me just for noting that socialized medicine (among other priorities) didn't magically become part of The Left's agenda when we entered an economic downturn.

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